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Dump Run, Hedge of Jehovah Witnesses, Beautiful Sunny Sunday Afternoon, and the Paul Thorn Band at Rancho Nicasio

Last Sunday I took my trailer full of trash to the recycle center, then drove out to the countryside to see some music at Rancho Nicasio. On the way I shot this sculpted hedge outside a pretty drab building that's part of the Fairfax Jehovah's Witness complex. Kinda wierd, it's a witty hedge, which the JW's are not.


Dusty from the dump I went behind a warehouse, took off my work clothes and took a shower from the shower bag in my truck, got into shorts and headed out to the country. I'd seen Paul Thorn last year, he knocked me out. Never heard of him. I only saw him because I went to see Billy Joe Shaver, who opened for him. This year people have caught on, because it was sold out. Barbecue on the lawn, sunshine, shade, music starts at 4 PM. not being able to get in, I bought a beer and meandered to a field behind the grounds with my fold-up chair, and could see and hear great. Paul is from Mississippi, he's the real thing. Worked 12 years in a chair factory, was a world-class boxer and fought Roberto Duran (he lost in the 6th round because his face was cut). Imagine a guy who's a great musician being such an athlete.

Mighty Live oak in Nicasio

Joe Martin, Master Canoe Carver

Joe Martin’s father was a canoe maker and taught Joe and his three brothers the craft. Joe lives near Tofino and is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, from the house of Nuukmis.
Tla-o-qui-aht people are part of the Nuu-chah-nulth language group, who live on the west coast of Vancouver Island and the most northern tip of Washington State.

Joe Martin uses a Mexican panga in northern waters


So far Joe has built 35 canoes, each carved out of a single cedar tree. The longest is 36’, the shortest 16’. Joe cuts a tree in the forest, then uses a chainsaw, axes, adzes, drawknives, planes, and a sander to create the final canoe. Once the canoe is hollowed out, it is steamed with water and hot rocks so that the canoe becomes pliable enough to bend it so it becomes wider. We hope to show Joe's canoes in our book on Northwest builders.
Joe’s daughter does tours of Clayoquot Sound in the hand-carved canoes. The tours leave from Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island and focus on native culture and the natural beauty of the area. Information can be found at a very classy website: Tlalook Cultural Adventures (out of Tofino)

Vin's Acorn Pod Sauna

This is the latest creation I've shot for Builders of the Northwest Coast. Artist and impeccable craftsman Vin Gorman has spent about five years (not full-time) building this sauna. It's portable, has eight ribs, and bolts together in sections. I'll try to post sneak previews of the book (due out early 2007) from time to time.

Concrete ribs are pre-cast


Interior is like a jewel box.

I Owned a Canon EOS 5D For Three Days (For Camera Nuts Only)

Magical 5D Arrives in Shelter Office!


It was almost a magical moment. I've been so looking forward to getting Canon's hot 5D digital camera, which has a bunch of features beyond my present 20D. It arrived today and bummer! Joy soon turned to depression. The mirror (that flips up and down) had come loose from its frame. Rats! I also discovered (didn't know) that the zoom lenses from the 20D won't work on the 5D (an EFS 17-85 mm/1:4-5.6, and an EFS 10-20 mm/3.5-4.5 digital sizes. More rats! And now I was looking at an additional $2500 in lenses.
I'm leaving next week on a photo trip, shooting builders in Canada and other points north. I've been using a Canon 20D for over a year now and it's a sweetheart. It weighs a ton but it's worth it. It's 8 megapixels. I've been thinking about the 5D, a 12 megapixel model for about a year, it has some incredible features, and ordered one last week from B and H Photo. Well, much as I wanted a new tool/toy, I decided to return it and skip the 5D for a while, not be trying to learn how to operate a new camera while on an intensive photo trip. Well, duh!

Back to A Fixed 50mm


The good news is that today I also got a 50mm 1.4 Canon lens and it's a revelation. I put it on the 20D and took some pics around the house. Makes me realize I've been depending on zoom lenses for years and forgot about the speed and sharpness of a fixed lens. I can shoot really dark places now. Like the old days, moving myself and not the lens to get the right composition. Besides, I see the world about as 50 mm. (I know some photographers who see it as 35 mm or so.) I just shot this in the office. Oh man, what I've been missing by not having a 50 mm! I'm inspired.

Shot in mirror a half hour ago with 50mm lens on a unipod


Two Photo Tips I Picked Up From Frankie Frost


A few months ago on a rainy day, Marin Independent Journal photographer Frankie Frost came out to shoot some photos of me for an article in the paper. He shot about 200 photos. Bam. Bam. Bam. They're digital, you're not using film. Ever since, I've loosened up, been shooting lots of pics of people, like 10 to get them warmed up. Soon they relax. I'm getting much nicer photos of people. Secondly, Frankie used a monopod, with a clip on/off attachment. It gives you stabilkity so you can shoot at m aybe 1/8. The more I use it the more I like it. Lot less clunky than a tripod.

Godfrey Stephens, A Real Artist!

Godfrey Stephens, a Canadian (British Columbia) artist, has, in around 50 years, created an incredible and varied world of paintings, drawings, carvings, totems, and sculptures. He is what I call a Real Artist. He is VISUAL. He looks at everything that crosses his path intensly and he is constantly searching for beauty and grace in the world. He has spent years living on beaches in driftwood shelters. He has built a number of boats, most of them on the beach with salvaged wood. He has sailed a catamaran around Vancouver Island. He has sailed self-made sailboats to Mexico and been shipwrecked twice. He grew up in Victoria and when he was 12 years old he became best friends with Tony Hunt, who went on the become the present chief of the Ft. Rupert Kwagiulth (commonly known as Kwakiutl) tribe. Tony's grandfather was Mungo Martin, a legendary Kwagiulth chief and legendary carver and Tony and Godfrey hung out with Mungo while be built the Big House and carved the totems in Victoria's Thunderbird park, a beautiful and authentic display of the First Nations people of British Columbia. Godfrey was in carving heaven. Tony was being trained (he is now a world reknowned artist) and Godfrey started to carve himself. So that's one part of Godfrey's work, his carvings, and many of them are strongly influenced by native tradition.
Then there are his paintings, many of them kaleidoscopic interweavings of female forms.

Midnight Sun, © Godfrey Stephens


He is a major artist, undiscovered as yet. I won't go further into it here, because I'm going to do Godfrey's story and show his art in my next book, Builders of the Northwest Coast, but I was inspired to see the three paintngs on his webiste:
Godfrey Stephen's Website

Great White Shark Chases Surfers Out of Bolinas Channel Tonight

I went down to the beach to ride my skateboard tonight around 6 PM Friday night. It hadn't been too inspiring a day and I wanted to play. I parked next to a bunch of surfer's cars and was getting my safety gear on when a surfer with board came walking up from the beach dripping wet and said a "great white shark" has swum by him and four other surfers. It turned out that local Owein Sanders was the first to see it. He yelled out to the other surfers and the five of them windmill-paddeled into the beach. I asked him how big the fin was and he held his hand about 18" above the pavement. Todd Mason said the fin appeared and cruised along for a while, then turned on its side and went under. Todd looked shaken. I asked Owein (who was riding a 9-foot wood laminate surfboard) where the shark was and he said "the groin," meaning the mouth of the channel that leads from the ocean into the Bolinas lagoon.

It took a few minutes before I realized that last night, that is, Thursday, around 6:30, I'd driven down to the channel, ran along the beach, and swum from the groin though the channel down to the ramp (about 200 yards). When I got onto land I noticed a few seals swimming in the channel. Light bulb goes on in Lloyd's dim brain just now (I mean just now, 9:05 PM Friday night). The sharks are in there this time of night (incoming tide) trying to snack on sea lions who come into the lagoon on just such conditions. About two years ago, a local surfer, Lee Fontan was attacked by a great white at this very spot.

Jeez!

Human Ingenuity in China

Our man in British Columbia, artist Godfrey Stephens, just sent us these pix (we don't know where they're from):







Boingboing, Make Magazine, Scanning of All Books in the Known Universe: All from Kevin Kelly

I talked to Kevin Kelly a few weeks ago and just got around to checking out a bunch of things he mentioned. Kevin is the "senior maverick" at Wired magazine, former editor of the Whole Earth Magazine, maestro of CoolTools and author of Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World

Boingboing


About the hottest blog going; it strikes me as what a blog should be: http://boingboing.net/

Privacy on yr. computer on boingboing


Make Magazine's Zine


Do-it-yourself culture: Web version of O'Reilly's exciting magazine

Scan This Book!


Article by Kevin Kelly in recent NY Times
"The dream is an old one: to have in one place all knowledge, past and present. All books, all documents, all conceptual works, in all languages:" Scan This Book!

Youtube


While I'm at it, check out this amazing site of video clips, which includes tons of music clips. You need a fast connection (if not, let the clip load while you do something else, then go back and view it). I just typed in Freddie King and got 24 clips on him. http://youtube.com/

A Few Pics of the Dipsea Race in 2006

I hurt my knee a few months ago and it stopped me from running the annual Dipsea Race this year, so I shot photos. Here are a few shots. It's a 7+ mile race over the mountain to the beach, it's been going on over 100 years.



Boat With Soul

I'm getting my boat back in the water this year (12' aluminum with 15 hp Evinrude). I took my motor into Bill Lochblum's outboard motor shop in Sausalito and this little boat was sitting in the yard. Bill said everyone was charmed with it. It was 11', had a special bottom, and looked like it would crank. I later heard it can go over 25 mph. The guy who built it calls it a Mini-Tug and he apparently can build various sizes to order.

Mini-Tug

Freeway Art in Oakland, Skateboarding Mill Valley 1 AM, Watching the Sunrise From the Bottom of the Sea…

I just discovered this wonderful art today. It's under an on-ramp to Hwy. 80 in Berkeley. There's so much lame art around (like that dumb giant bow and arrow on the Embarcadero in San Francisco), it's great to happen upon something as witty as these sculptures. Look at how they're painted!




The main street in Mill Valley is great for skating when there's no traffic. I came through there at 1 Am this morning and skated several times from the library down to town. My wheels hit a crack when I was skating up hill and whamo I was on my hands. Lucky to have gloves with palm pads. Cliff Coleman, the legendary downhill skater told me there are 4 words to remember when you fall: Get On Your Hands! This assumes you're wearing the special sliding gloves. The idea is to skid along on the pads of the gloves and not your flesh. One other thing about skating. I have to drive a lot these days. A couple of times a day I'll take my skateboard out of the back and just cruise the parking lot, to get my body tuned up a bit.

I went into a record store in San Anselmo tonight and picked up a copy of Jimi Hendrix' first album, Are You Experienced. Filling in a few gaps in my music collection these days. I didn't realize the phrase (and name of a pure sativa strain of mota) Purple Haze was the first song on the album. 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky.

Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand…

You know you're a cute little heart breaker
And you know you're a sweet little love maker…

It was just Jimi Hendrix and two skinny English boys, what an album!

Hip Hop Rap, Chinese Monkey Tatoos, Chiggahs, Hashish In China, and Swirling Cymbals

This is part of an email I just received from John Featherston, a builder and musician in South Carolina, and is a response to my blog of 06/05/06, wherein I mentioned music I was listening to and showed photos of a monkey tattooed on a surfer's arm. There was a photo in the email of the "shop" John refers to. This is great writing!

****
…You apparently are a music lover. The shop pictured has about 15,000 vinyl LPs upstair but I'm really wanting to tell you that you must see/hear The Waybacks from the Bay Area... closest one to you lives in Larkspur in a house frequented by Timothy Leary, overlooking the house the Grateful Dead wrote Working Man's Dead in, up the street from where Janis and Big Brother practiced. Anyway The Waybacks are as good as any band I've EVER heard. They, with Bob Wier, took MerleFest to new heigths a few weeks ago. mbals, dancers.... then the dancing dragons.... four of 'em. I'm hanging out the window taking pics and next thing I know this mob of performers start into the building and flow into the apt. Boom Boom Boom clang clang..... dancers, drummers, cymbals swirling and dancing..... then enter the dragons. We had four dragons (red, yellow and blue) dance all over us for several minutes.... then they left. Now I've done and seen a lot but I've never ever been danced on by dragons. OK... long enough.....sorry. Hope you enjoyed. John
Oops.... as a scrounger/builder I also ended up with an outdoor music facility in upstate SC. The web site doesn't do it justice but:
http://www.themusiccamp.net

Night concert at The Music Camp

Homesteaders Special: Chicken Breeds That Are Setters And Those That Are Not

Organic Free-Range Fresh Eggs Daily


This is a valuable bit of info I just learned about chickens. (This will only be of interest to people who now have — or are comtemplating obtaining — chickens.)
We have had chickens, in varying numbers for over 30 years. They are the one species left over from the '70s and '80s when I put a lot less time into publishing and more time into raising food. In those years we had goats, bees, and chickens. I eventually abandoned goats (SO much work!) and bees (I'll get them again when I'm 90, I love working with them, they are an 85 million year old species) but we've still got chickens, as the time spent is well worth it in fresh eggs daily. This time we have bantams — Rhode Island Reds, and Auracanas, which lay green eggs.
We get day-old baby chicks express mailed by Murray McMurray Hatchery out of Webster, Iowa. This is a great resource, beloved by homesteaders for the quality of their chickens, and their service:
http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/
1-800-456-3280
I ran into a problem with too many of the bantam hens setting. (This is when genes — in some breeds — kick in, and a hen will go "broody," fluffing out all her feathers, and sitting on the biggest batch of eggs she can find in the nests. Her intent is to stay on them for 21 days or so until they hatch.) It's a hassle because the other birds have a hard time getting into the nests to lay eggs. Here's some good info for people with chickens:

Rhode Island Red Bantams vs. Auracana Bantams


I wrote McMurray 6/03/06:
We've been getting chicks from you for 30 years. We could always count on Rhode Island Reds not to set. When we got RI bantams a few years back, we found out that they set like crazy. In other words, the non-setting genes didn't get carried over into the bantams. Auracana bantams, on the other hand, are like the full sized birds in that they don't set.

Are you aware of this characteristic in the Rhode Island bantams?

Do you have a list of hens, both bantam and full sized that do not set? (I know white Leghorns don't set.

I ask this because dealing with a half dozen setters is a major hassle. It upsets the other chickens, you have to isolate them, etc.

Thanks for the great birds through the years!

"Good Setters," "Non-Setters"


Pat from Murray McMurray Replied 6/05/06:
Lloyd,
As a general rule, bantams do tend to be better setters that their standard
counter parts. I have very little information on bantams as to which birds
are good setters or not.
The hatchery supplies us with some additional notes on birds that are not
included in the catalog. The following standard sized birds are listed as
"good setters":

Buff Orpington
Partridge Rock
Buff Rock
White Orpington
Turken
Speckled Sussex
Columbian Wyandotte
Columbian Rock
Light Brahma
Dark Cornish

These birds are listed as "non-setters":
Silver Laced Wyandotte
Black Australorp
Rhode Island Red
Araucana/Americana
Red Star
Black Star
Blue Andalusians
Red Leghorn
Anconas
Single Comb Brown Leghorn
Rose Comb Brown Leghorn

Breeds that are not listed in either group are listed as "sometimes will set"
or have no notes at all regarding setting.

MMH

Roadkill Raccoon, Driftwood Beach Shack, Surfing at Pleasure Point, The Monkey Tattoo, The Metal Gorilla

All having occurred in the past 20 hours.
I got up at 3 AM this morning. My son Will, a drummer living in Santa Cruz, wanted me to come down and see the gospel choir he's been playing with. I figured I might get a little surfing in, hence the early hour. The Golden Gate Bridge was stunning. There were very few cars, and the rust red color of the bridge was a contrast against the blue black inky sky. I've grown up with the bridge, been under it in a kayak, and all the way to the top one warm night, yet it still takes my breath away each time I see it. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever," or something to that effect.

When I go to Santa Cruz I'm on automatic pilot, down Highway One. Except this morning I get past Pacifica and learn that Hwy One is closed, so backtrack to 280 and take the road to the coast (to Half Moon Bay) from Crystal Lakes . This is kind of a remarkable road in that it has miles of concrete retaining walls, like 60-80' high, all made to look like natural rock. It's a technique road builders have developed in recent years. When you get close to the coast, there are a bunch of metal sculptures by different artists, pretty unique, and a whole bunch of nurseries. You can buy strawberries, cherries, and corn at roadside stands, and the Flying Fish Cafe is a great little funky seafood roadhouse.

Relief to be out on the coast. I've been making the San Francisco-Santa Cruz trek for over 50 years now, and I love the route. It hasn't really changed that much in all this time. So I'm driving along, heading south, the sun coming up, and here's a raccoon lying on the side of the road so of course I turn around and come back. It's a beautiful raccoon, shiny coat, just recently killed, so I pick it up.

El Bandido



I should explain that I have picked up dead animals over the years and skinned them. After skinning, I stretch them out on a piece of plywood and salt the hide, then after a week, send it off to Bucks County Fur Products in Quakertown PA, and 6 weeks later I will get back a clean tanned hide via UPS. I have a beautiful skunk skin, 2 squirrels, an exquisite bobcat, and most recently a beautiful little long-tailed weasel. Now I'll have a coon skin.

Heading on down the coast I spot this little driftwood beach shack:



I come into Santa Cruz around 7:30, get 2 crumb donuts at the donut store on Mission street, then pick up a latte at Coffeetopia a few blocks down and go to check the surf. It looks good. I have a few hours before the gospel choir, so suit up and go out at what we used to call "Inside Pleasure," now known as 38th Avenue. The water's warm, the waves good. It's crowded but there are good vibes. One guy is surfing in just his trunks, no leash, a 50s touch. Fun! As I am getting out of my wet suit I spot surfer Paul Nelson, with this tattoo:

Check the monkey!



Santa Cruz is where Southern California starts. It's warmer. It's looser. There's a hint of the tropics. People are mellower. There's a car culture. Hot rods, vintage cars, huge 4x4s, hot sports cars.


Lots of Harleys. There are also a lot of 50-60-year old retired guys sitting around at coffee shops without much to do. I've got ties to SC. I was a lifeguard there in the mid-50s and, ahem! according to my mom, I was conceived there. When I went to Stanford I got into surfing and ended up spending more time in Santa Cruz than in Palo Alto. Jeez, Santa Cruz in the '50s, it breaks your heart to think of it then. Before wet suits, before foam boards, before the University of California.
On the way down and back, I listen to Jerry Lee Lewis - The (Complete) Session Recorded in London - I was never a Jerry Lee fan, he seemed like such a jerk. But Lordy, is he good! This 2-volume set is a masterpiece. Baby what you want me to do?

Then on to another kind of music. The Inner Light Ministries in Aptos. It turns out to be a huge crowd and the 48-person choir, led by Valerie Joy, who also sings like an angel. It is GOOD! I hadn't expected anything like this. After some preaching, the choir comes back out and a wisp of a girl with strawberry blonde hair comes out and sings in a huge voice, she reminds me a bit of Patti Smith, it's a rockin' number. Reverend Deborah Johnson talks about balance. She leans over to her right and says, "You get really high," and then leans to her left and says "then you're down-down-down." Better to try to stay balanced, she says, than go through this teeter-totter of ups and downs. The choir finishes with a reggae number that has everyone up and dancing. This has turned out to be pretty darned good day! I head back up the coast with my raccoon.

Here's a gorilla in Half Moon Bay. Hey, ain't life rich?

On Old Guys Blogging

OK, I'm 71, not the typical age for a blogger. Not exactly the right temperament either: I don't live and breathe computers. I've loved and hated blogging like I loved and hated computers when they came along and superceded everything I'd so painstakenly learned about book production. So I got into blogging mildly kicking and screaming. I liked what it did, but not the time it took me to do it. I already spend more time in front of a screen than I want to. I need my time at the beach and in the woods. But in the last few days I may have seen the way to post stuff more often. I'd like to, because it seems that in my peregrinations I'm constantly runnning across people and things that interest the heck out of me, and I have this compulsion to tell people about it. In fact more than once I've worried that I should be more "in the moment" wherever I am, rather than filtering what I'm seeing through my reporter's brain. How am I gonna tell people about this?
I think (at least tonight) I'll blog more often. For one thing, yesterday was the first time that I wrote within Blogger.com's template rather than writing stuff in Eudora and then copying it into Blogger. It was much quicker. And it's always a kick to see what you've just written come up on the web, nicely formatted: a unique immediacy. Like right now I'm about to hit "Publish Post," and in seconds it'll be worldwide. It occurs to me that coming from the Old World, as it were, makes all that's happening now (electronically, not politically) all the more wondrous. Hell, I still can't believe what a fax machine does, when I really think about it.

Inspired to Drop Out

Just the next day after writing about the feedback we've been getting from our building books (see previous day's blog), we got this email from a guy in Maryland. (I should point out that this is the first time in two years of blogging that I've written something two days in a row.)

Email to Shelter received June 3, 2006:
I am writing to thank you for being a huge influence in my life. Your book Shelter has altered the way that I look at house and home in profound ways. I first read Shelter at my friends farm in West Virginia about 18 years ago and ever since, my number one goal in life has been to drop out. I have been working diligently to gather the tools and funds to make my dream come true. Most Americans want a big house with a two story entry feature, big green expanse of grass, and three cars in the garage. Me, I want 40 acres and a mule. Eight years ago we bought an old farm house built in 1790, it was modernized in 1870 when a used timber frame house was attached to it. When we bought it the plan should have been to tear it down and have a huge bon fire, instead we poured too much love and sweat and and money into it. The pay off is that we have a home we love. We are now going to put on an addition of one bedroom and bathroom so that our old house will be more appealing to a future buyer. The real estate values are very high here in Maryland and our plan is to cash out in about five years. For what our house will sell for we could easily buy 200+ acres in New Mexico and still have something left over to build our forever house. Stay tuned for photos of our old house and soon to come mountain retreat. Between Shelter and Home Work I have been given so much inspiration... Thank you for doing what you do!
-Frank Yensan, Catonsville, MD

Dialing Back In

My Career: From Builders to Jocks Back to Builders


The first books I published (starting in 1970) were on building. I published two books on dome building and then, when I found out domes didn't work (as homes), I published. along with Bob Easton, Shelter in 1973, on building all kinds of homes, all over the world. The book sold over 250,000 copies and (from continual feedback) has provided guidance and inspiration to countless people. I did another building book, Shelter II, in 1978 and then, starting in 1980, by some quirk of karma, I ended up publishing fitness books for almost 20 years. See our website for the books we've published (about 26 in 30+ years): http://www.shelterpub.com/

About two years ago I felt I'd done all I wanted to in the fitness field and returned to my first love, which was hand-built housing. In this new phase we've published The Septic Systems Owners Manual, Home Work: Handmade Shelter, and most recently, Mongolian Cloud Houses, about building your own yurt.

The point of all this: something profound has started happening to us in the last year or so. We have been deluged with emails, letters, and phone calls from people telling us how Shelter changed their lives, or how Home Work is like nothing they've seen before. Even more wonderful is the fact that I seem to talk to people every day who love our building books.

Two things caused me to sit down this afternoon and write this:
1. We got a letter today from a couple, Eben and Aña Pyle, who had the first edition of Shelter in the '70s and ended up using it as inspiration to build cabins and homes in Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas. They concluded: "Aña and I want you to know that Shelter has been an important and enjoyable part of our lives and wish to thank you for the work you have done that has made our lives and the lives of others much richer."
I mean, wow! I know I'm walking the thin line of self-aggrandizement here, but hell, I want to tell you about this. We are getting a phenomenal amount of feedback like this, and it seems like we're on the right track. We're photographing people who do things for themselves, with their own hands, and it's inspiring others to do the same.

I mentioned all this to my wife Lesley today and she said "You've dialed back in." I'm back in touch with the building world and it's a new exciting phase for us. We've reestablished our network of builders, except this time around the internet has put us in touch with a much wider audience. It's great to be back in touch with builders and craftsmen.

Septic Systems 2006


I'm talking to a national magazine about writing an article on two aspects of septic systems in the US:
a) How small towns are being forced into overblown, overexpensive high-tech wastewater disposal systems by corrupt engineers and fat-fee-collecting bureaucratic officials.
b) What you can do if your septic system has failed. Simple relatively inexpensive fixes as opposed to engineer-mandated $30,000 fixes. Firstly, don't ask your local health officials what to do…

Micro Architecture


It looks like we will be publishing an English language edition of Micro Architecture, by Japanese publisher Kesaharu Imai of World Photo Press. Here's a review I wrote of it for Amazon a few years ago (the cover shown on Amazon doesn't do the book justice):
"Every architect should own this book. There is no other book like it. Be aware that most of the text is in Japanese, but It contains thousands of photos, as well as drawings, imaginative collages, and unique layout. It covers mostly small buildings - homes, barns, sheds, yurts, treehouses, tipis - and just about anything visual that caught the photographers' and editors' eyes. The layout is imaginative and stunning. The book makes the reader wonder how anyone could gather so much information, and then assemble it into a cohesive whole. In addition to architects, I'd recommend this book to builders, designers, artists, photographers, and anyone fascinated with the visual world. Unique and inspirational."
World Photo press has translated both Shelter and Home Work into Japanese and will do a Japanese version of Builders of the Northwest Coast when we get it done.

Barefoot Architect


We have just finalized plans to publish a wonderful book from Brazil, originally in Portuguese and just translated into English, called The Barefoot Architect, by Johan van Lengen. It reminds me of Ken Kern's ground-breaking do-it-yourself book of the '60s, The Owner-Built Home. It shows you how to do your own design, how to build, and has lots of stuff for "underdeveloped countries," as they say, or in other words how to build where there's no plywood or nail guns or double-insulated windows or building codes, where you'll be working with materials like adobe and bamboo. Drawings are clear and simple, great info on natural cooling, a great resource for building with low-cost (and natural) materials.